Garia Puja


Garia puja, the name of a spring festival fetches no less joy and religious fervour in Tripura. The festival belongs to the Tripuris, ethnic tribal groups in the north eastern state which showcases their unique customs, cultures and traditions. The seven day long event comprises puja apart from mesmerizing music and dance and it is believed to be the best possible platform to bring bounteous livestock apart from peace and wealth.

The salient feature is a garlanded bamboo is tied with paddy, cotton ball, coin. Then it is wrapped with a piece of traditional cloth which they call Risa. This is what they consider the god to be worshipped. The bamboo pole stands for the hunting tool since hunting was the staple means of livelihood for these tribal people. The god is offered chicks, cotton threads, eggs, wine, earthen pots, paddy, rice beer to be appeased. In some places a cock is surrendered before the god. But these are monitored by a local priest who never allows anybody to cross even the shadow of the bamboo poles. The young Tripuri boys and girls pay door to door visit carrying the idol of Lord Shiva during the festival which begins from April 13. The idol is kept in the middle of the courtyard with devotional songs in their lips. The Tripuri dance forms, mostly, are derived from Garia dance which they call of Shiva dance. This is equally popular among the Reangs.

Music and dance are an inevitable part of the festival. This is an occasion to keep the unique Gariya Nrittya on display. Festivity grips every household of the Tripuri tribal group. The houses look different with bunches of flowers in the walls apart from the colourful decorations of lights. Dressed with traditional attires, man and women, old and young, boys and girls visit their near and dear ones. Cultural functions are lined up in many places to pull huge crowds in the festival venues. Community feasts have become a fashion of the event now a days to be joined by the people of all classes.